August 15, 2021 — Kurgan Compass™ strives to cover grounded, genuine neofolk and related folk metal on a weekly basis — and each week has proven to be feast or famine so far. This one was a feast though, bringing an aura of celebration with new material released by TVINNA, Osi and the Jupiter, NYTT LAND, and Mörkriden — a new, mysterious Sweden-based folk project. Plus, Munknörr announced a collab with Runahild.
As per usual, the song mentioned below has been added to the Kurgan Compass™ Neofolk Playlist on Spotify, which can be found and followed to here.
Osi and the Jupiter Drops Third Single From ‘Stave’
In the short time I have been aware of the intriguing US-based folk project Osi and the Jupiter, their twin-pronged approach to contemporary folk has always stood out; blending the ethereal mountain strings of Appalachian folk with a touch of American country whilst letting the mythos and dark laden vocals and harps of traditional Nordic folk form the core of their music. Osi’s new single ‘In Death (Carry Me Home)’ is the third solo release from the upcoming album Stave.
‘In Death (Carry Me Home)’ is a collaboration with little-known, Poland-based forest folk-specialists By the Spirits and is meant as a lyrical devotion, repeatedly calling runic staves that imbue magical properties through the song’s lyrics, while emphasizing the mark your land of origin can have on the soul. Osi and the Jupiter described the collaboration as follows:
“‘In Death’ [the song] is a passage about the love for where you grew up and the connection you have to the land in the area. I am very pleased to have Michał from BY THE SPIRITS on this track, his beautiful voice takes this track further into this song’s intent to paint its landscape.”
The full-length release of Stave is due for release on August 27 via Eisenwald. Fans of Osi and the Jupiter can pre-save and pre-order the new album now.
TVINNA Recite Historical Poem In Official Video
Although nordic folk has become embedded at the core of the modern neofolk movement, placing TVINNA squarely in the Norse folk genre would be a stretch, although the semi-electronic female-led group is certainly in the vicinity of the nordic spirit being signed to Wardruna-powered ByNorse Music.
TVINNA opened up this week with the release of a surprise video of an ambient performance of the poem ‘Nénuphar’ — an apt choice indeed, written by last century Austrian mystic Rainer Maria Rilke who sought to expand poetry through new “metres” — and who rejected Christian precepts while striving to reconcile beauty and suffering.
TVINNA, featuring Laura Fella and Fiona Rüggeberg of Faun, even in this recitation, are defined by their combined vocals, ethereal instrumentation, and subtle electronics that succeed in crafting an otherworldly feel. ‘Nénuphar’ is the first track to be taken from the band’s recently released album, One – In The Dark. TVINNA’s ambient recording of the historical poem was announced on the band’s social media channels, where the group also reminded fans of some of the challenges of performing live in the wake of the pandemic:
“This poem would have sounded over the fields of Castlefest this year. Since our first live show on this amazing festival again could not be, we decided to share this exclusive track, created just for our show, with you anyway — as a kiss to the wound we all now share.”
NYTT LAND Set ‘Ritual’ In Motion
It has been a busy week for Siberian neofolk duo NYTT LAND, who not only released their new album Ritual, but also staged a live stream ritual-slash-concert on YouTube, gave Kurgan Compass™ some of their time for an insightful interview, released the official video of the album’s title track ‘Svartravn’, and provided a behind-the-scenes look at the vocal recording process of ‘The Fires of Ragnarök’ in a clip dubbed ‘Throat Singing Playthrough’ — watch it all on Napalm Record’s YouTube channel.
If the live rites of the Sibero-shamanic duo have whet fans appetite for more performances, they will be pleased to find out NYTT LAND will be touring Europe with well-established folk metal names like Korpiklaani, Equilibrium, and Jonne later this year.
Munknörr and Rúnahild Teaming Up
Borderless folk duo Munknörr is set to collaborate with Norwegian singer and composer Rúnahild. Munknörr members Aethelwyne (Italy) and Damian Schneider (Germany, Uruguay) have shared video clips of their vocal performances on Facebook (listen to Aethelwyne here and Damian here) of the coming collab-track. Munknörr is known for its ongoing pursuit of a primal, shamanic sound, especially in his most recent album Shaman which Kurgan Compass™ reviewed not too long ago — which as Damian’s clip shows, also has the power to summon spirits to the dance.
New Folk Act Skugga To Emerge From Sweden
And lastly, Mörkriden Productions is a new kind of production company that specializes in cinematography and music. Their motto is “driven by spirit to tell the stories of our lives.”
Intriguingly, Mörkriden is involved in the production of two new songs, ‘Katten’ and ‘GALDR’. Both tracks are performed and beautifully sung in Swedish by Bobby Sant, who also wrote the lyrics, while Olle Edberg has produced and co-composed parts of the material.
Releasing on September 22, ‘Katten’ features neofolk long-runners Kati Rán (million of streams on Spotify and YouTube) and Chris Welsh of Sound and Moon Dance, while ‘GALDR’ is scheduled to come out at a later date under the name Skugga — formed by duo Bobby Sant and Olle Edberg.
Run by Bobby Sant and Whitney Alison, Mörkriden Productions also plans to create dark, calm, and moody music videos and smaller documentaries. Whitney Alison is an influencer and cinematographer who describe herself as “following in the footsteps of nature.” The name of her Instagram and YouTube channel is ‘A Nordic Herbal Shaman’ which certainly gives off a mysterious, folkish vibe.
With the new folk-wood-country sound of Osi and the Jupiter’s upcoming album Stave, and the surprise appearance of Mörkriden’s Skugga project — is a new sub-genre within neofolk forming, one that seeks to explore American country within the framework of Nordic folk and Scandinavia’s rich myths of ancient beings and old gods? Either way, Mörkriden Productions is steadily ramping up to be an intriguing nexus of talent.
A selection of the above-mentioned tracks has, as always, been added to the Kurgan Compass™ Spotify playlist which readers can found and followed here.